Too bad the wolves can’t shoot back

From the Santa Fe New Mexican

SILVER CITY — A necropsy has determined that a bullet killed an endangered Mexican gray wolf in Arizona, federal officials say.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awaiting necropsy results on seven other Mexican gray wolves found dead since March in Arizona and New Mexico. All eight deaths are considered suspicious, Victoria Fox, an agency spokeswoman in Albuquerque, said Wednesday.

Rewards of up to $10,000 are being offered to anyone who can help in the apprehension of people responsible for the animals’ deaths, she said.

The wolves are part of a federal program to reintroduce them into the wild in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

The 6-year-old wolf, the dominant female of her pack, was found dead Sept. 15 in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. She had been shot in the left hind leg, and gangrene killed her a week or two later, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Five other wolves were found dead in Arizona between March and October. Two other dead wolves were found in New Mexico in September.